Photos With Artists & Friends

"I almost never took a camera with me when in the studio or when working with another artist (I wish I had now that I think about it). On occasion though, I did happen to have a camera with me and was able to take a photo. Sometimes a photo was sent to me by a friend. I have been very fortunate to have been able to hang out and work with so many talented people."

The photo on the right has me (the bearded one on the left) with world-famous keyboardists Manfredo Fest, Michael Franklin, Brian Wilson, Rick Wakeman, and Patrick Moraz at a benefit for Give Kids The World in Orlando, Florida.

Ray Charles - what can I say? This photo was taken late at night at his studio in Los Angeles prior to one of his last tours, where I was assisting in programming and setting up his keyboards. During the subsequent tour in England his band truck was stolen (along with his keyboards and music - they found the music later on the side of the road!!!). I gave him one of my keyboards from my home studio that was the same as his. He sent it back to me after the tour. Later he sent me some frozen gourmet steaks to thank me, delivered by his manager personally!

I think the steaks are still in my freezer...

Here's a shot of Stevie Wonder with me playing one of my new songs during a photo shoot at Wonderland Studio in Los Angeles, California. After we finished the photo shoot he then took me to his mobile studio parked in back, and played me some of his own unreleased music tracks that he was working on. The sound was fantastic, and it was great to get an inside peek at his new ideas. Of all the times I worked with him, I remember most his mom's peach cobbler. His mom makes a killer peach cobbler...

Here's the legendary Bob Moog, the inventor of the Moog synthesizer at the AES trade show in New York. Bob was also involved in the development of the K250 keyboard in the early days at Kurzweil. Bob was a wonderful man and a great innovator in electronic music synthesis. Back in the day I owned a MiniMoog and an ARP Odyssey synth. During live performances I had to tweak and tune the sounds in each synth between and during every song...

Producer, composer, songwriter Fred Mollin and I are coming out of the rain in Nashville, getting ready for a good meal. Fred is a long time friend and we met in 1989 when I first started at Kurzweil. At the time Fred was working on many of the scary TV shows in the 90's like "Forever Knight", "Tales From The Crypt" and "The Outer Limits". He gave me an opportunity to write some cues for his shows - that was a lot of fun! He is currently an in-demand producer in Nashville.

Jazz pianist and keyboardist Joe Sample at his studio. Joe has been an inspiration to me ever since he was with the Jazz Crusaders, and his tasty playing style has influenced my playing a great deal. Because I wanted to sound and play like him, I purchased my first keyboard, a Fender Rhodes. Joe can lay down some very cool chords.

Joe is the man.

Here's the keyboard groove master, Herbie Hancock (on the left), and freinds at his home studio in the Hollywood hills. His R&B jazz style influenced a lot of my writing, so it was great to get a chance to meet and work with him. I played many of his tunes in club bands I was in over the years. Herbie and I had some good hang times - I remember a couple of late nights at this one club on Rodeo in Beverly Hills...

Through the years Kenny Rogers and his band were a great help to me as one of the first artists to sign with Kurzweil. Kenny's band used a lot of Kurzweil gear. The keyboard players would play piano, strings, and other orchestral instruments to back up Kenny. I really enjoyed working with Kenny and the band over a span of seven years.

Here's a shot of legendary film composer Jerry Goldsmith in his home studio in Beverly Hills (I took the photo). He had just completed his work on the movie "Basic Instinct". Jerry used synths to "mock up" his cues as part of his writing process. I have always been very, very, very impressed with Jerry's work - my first exposure was "Planet Of The Apes" which I thought was very original and out of the mainstream.

This was a three-piece band I was able to put together for a performance at the NAMM show in Los Angeles. Pictured here with me are legendary bassist Alphonso Johnson, awesome drummer/percussionist Walfredo Reyes, and keyboardist/producer Freddie Ravel. Each one of these guys are accomplished recording artists in their own right. They are total pro's and gave an incredible performance, and the gig was a challenge because it was an all-digital MIDI band.

Keyboard legend Patrick Moraz and I just before one of my performances going over some cool new synth programs in a prototype Kurzweil K2000 keyboard I was traveling with. Patrick was an amazing improvisor and could compose Mozart-like creations on the fly. Patrick performed and toured extensively with the Moody Blues prior to his solo career.

Innovative synth and techno group Tangerine Dream band members at a visit to the Kurzweil headquarters in Los Angeles. I never was able to get to Germany to see them live, though I wanted to. I was able to provide K2000 keyboards for tour and recording purposes, complete with custom sounds.

Keyboardist and all around smart guy Roger Powell at his home in California. Roger is best known for his groundbreaking synth solo albums as well as his work with Todd Rundgren. Roger was working with Silicon Graphics at the time doing some cool work with sound, music and computer graphics on their high-end workstations when this picture was taken. This was taken at his home in the Bay Area.

Grammy-winner Christopher Cross (right) and freind at a visit to the Kurzweil headquarters in Los Angeles. Chris had just come back from a tour in Japan.

My good freind and keyboardist Michael Dorian on the set of the Terence Trent D'arby tour (I took the picture). I spent a lot of time at Michael's studio up in the valley (his mom is the best cook...). Michael and I also did a trade show gig for SyQuest at the COMDEX show in Las Vegas.

This is me (on the left) with Manfredo Fest, Michael Franklin, Brian Wilson, Rick Wakeman, and Patrick Moraz at a benefit for Give Kids The World in Orlando, Florida. Michael and I had worked together to create a very special white grand piano with all of the keys signed by famous keyboard players. This was to be donated and auctioned, with the proceeds going to GKTW.

Brian Wilson performs on the signature piano in Orlando for the Give Kids The World benefit auction. Art Buchwald was the MC at the auction. I think this piano is still on display at the Hard Rock Cafe in Orlando.

This is a photo of my friend keyboardist Jon Carin and I. We were going over some synth programs for the Pink Floyd 1994 tour dress rehearsal at Norton Air Force Base In California. John is a great guy and a fantastic synth programmer. Jon and I used to like having lunch at a local Indian food place near where I worked.

(Jon - are you out there somewhere? Please contact me.)

Stevie Wonder, Mae Jemison, and Nichelle Nichols and little old me at at Wonderland Studio in Los Angeles, California. I was there late one night programming some synth bass stuff on Stevie's Kurzweils working in preparation for his album and tour. Nichelle and Mae had stopped by Stevie's studio that evening to see Stevie and I had the luck to be there too. Factoid: Nichelle is the first black female astronaut on TV (Lt. Uhura on Star Trek) and Mae is the first real black female astronaut!

Here are my freinds Alexi, Sasha, Jan from the Russian rock band Gorky Park, standing with me inside the Kurzweil Sound Pyramid at the NAMM show in California. These guys had a great blend of rock and classical styles in their music. In the background, Alphonso Johnson is warming up with his bass getting ready to give a clinic. I came very close to going on tour with them in the 90's - the Siberian winters put me off a bit though...

My friend, keyboardist Ron "Wizard" Fransen, at the Pink Floyd set during their dress rehearsal. Ron performed with Ricky Nelson, Rare Earth and many other bands, and was my roommate when I first moved to Los Angeles. Ron is a great blues player and is playing around Hermosa Beach, California all the time. Ron has a boat in the harbor, and we like to call him "Captain Ron".

This is a photo from my Berklee days in Boston at a mixing session with my close friend Bill MacPherson. Bill is a terrific guitar player and has quite a recording career going for him. Bill's unique style and blend of world musical influences (he grew up in Zaire) have created a unique sound. Bill and I drove cross country together from Northern California to Boston to attend Berklee. We played in two kick-ass bands together - "Platinum" in California and "FM" in Boston. Bill spends his time writing, teaching and surfing in Southern California and Costa Rica.